If you’ve done any shopping for a men’s suit before, you probably know just how many different types there are from which to choose. Men’s suits are available in a wide variety of styles, ranging from single-colors like black and navy to pinstripe, plaid and more. Regardless of your personal preference, chances are there’s a suit to match your style. But suits are also available in many different fabrics, each of which has its own unique characteristics. To learn more about the difference fabrics used in men’s suits and which one is right for you, keep reading.
It should come as little-to-no surprise that the single most popular fabric used in the production of men’s suits is wool. Wool suits are comfortable, stylish, warm, and resistant to wrinkles, making them an excellent choice for the on-the-go men who are constantly moving around. Due to its thickness and natural insulation, however, wool suits are generally recommended for cooler environments. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only wear them during the winter, rather consider the climate in which you’ll be wearing the suit. If you plan on wearing a suit in an office that’s constantly cold, for instance, a wool suit would be an excellent choice. But if you plan on wearing the suit outdoors on a scorching spring or summer day, then perhaps you should choose a different fabric. In any case, wool is an all-around great choice for a men’s suit, as it’s soft, comfortable, stylish and readily available.
And because wool is such a popular and widely used fabric, wool suits tend to cost less than other styles. There are always exceptions to this rule, but you can typically expect to pay less for a wool suit.
Of course, another material from which men’s suits are made is linen. While most people have at least heard of men’s linen suits, few know its actual composition and how they are created. Linen is essentially a textile fabric that is made from the fibers of flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). Although its somewhat laborious and time-consuming to manufacture, linen offers several attractive characteristics that make it ideal for use in men’s suits. Linen is both lightweight and highly absorbent, allowing for a greater level of coolness in otherwise hot weather.
Due to its lightweight and breathable characteristics, linen suits have become a mainstay for men living in warm climates. The fibers almost feel like feathers, allowing the wearer’s skin to breathe more easily. As such, many guys prefer linen suits for use in destination weddings, beach events, outdoor summer parties, and similar hot-weather environments.
We can’t talk about the different fabrics used in the production of men’s suits without mentioning cotton. Cotton suits are a classic choice that offers many of the same characteristics of linen but to a lesser degree. Cotton suits are made from the same cotton fabric as traditional t-shirts. So if you want a first-hand account of how a cotton suit will feel, just grab one of your 100% cotton shirts from your closet. Suits are generally made with slightly thicker cotton, but it’s basically the same fabric.
Keep in mind that there are several different types of cotton suits available on the market. In addition to “standard” cotton, another popular choice is twill, which is a finer variety of the popular fabric. Cotton twill suits are often mistaken for linen, simply because the two varieties are similar in terms of appearance and comfort. They are both lightweight, breathable, soft, and perfect for warm-weather climates.
There is also stretch cotton suits available for sale, which live up to their namesake by offering greater elasticity than standard cotton. Much like stretch denim, stretch cotton suits are made by combining standard cotton with some elastic fabric, such as polyester. Just a small amount of polyester gives the cotton suit significant elasticity, sometimes as much as 15%. And when a cotton suit has the ability to stretch, it’s usually softer and more comfortable to wear.
A fourth type of fabric that’s commonly used in the production of men’s suits is corduroy. It’s a little-known fact that corduroy isn’t technically a fiber or fabric itself, rather the term refers to a textile that is made by twisting existing fibers together in a parallel pattern to create a distinct pattern look. Most modern-day corduroy is made of tufted cords to created a ridged type of velvet-like material that is then used to produce suits (or other garments and/or accessories.
Corduroy suits are strong and highly durable, more so than cotton and linen. But they also have a tendency to hold dirt and stains, which is a serious drawback for some men. If you have a tendency to get dirty, you may want to choose a different suit. On the other hand, if you plan on sitting in an office all day where there’s little-to-no chance of getting your suit dirty, corduroy may suffice.
Which Suit Fabric is Right for Me?
Now that you know a little bit about the different fabrics from which men’s suits are made, you might be wondering which one is right for you. Well, as you can see from reading this post there are certain advantages offered by each fabric. Wool suits are often preferred for their warmth and thickness; linen suits are recommended for warm-weather environments; cotton suits fall somewhere in the middle, making them a great choice for a variety of environments and occasions; and corduroy suits are prized for their unique appearance and resistance to damage.
When choosing a men’s suit, think about the climate during which you’ll be wearing it. Is it going to be hot? Maybe a linen suit is the best choice. Is it going to be warm? Then perhaps a cotton suit will work best. What about the cool winter and late fall months? In this case, either wool or corduroy will work. Above all else, though, choose a suit that properly fits your body shape and size. There’s nothing worse than wearing a suit that’s too small or too big.